Access For All
Introduction to Wexford County Councils Disability Strategy
Accessibility isn't purely physical access it is anything that hinders a persons ability to interact in society.
The term 'disability' covers a wide range of circumstances including, physical disability, mobility issues, sensory, hearing and visual impairments, cognitive difficulties including specific learning difficulties and also mental health issues.
Wexford County Council is committed to making Wexford a more accessible environment for all. The Disability Act 2005 and the Sectoral Plans have allowed us to look at our services in a new light and embrace the opportunity to do things differently. Under the National Disability Strategy our goal is to promote and pro-actively encourage equal opportinities for persons with disabilities to participate in the ecomomic, social and cultural life of the County.
Additionally, the Local Government Sectoral Plans set out national objectives and guidelines for access to critical areas of service for people with disabilities. The Plan is geared to developing services that encourage maximum participation in society.
Part 3 of the Disability Act 2005 places significant responsibilities on public bodies to make their buildings and services accessible to people with disabilities, while Part 5 of the Act gives a statutory basis to positive action measures for the employment of people with disabilities in the public sector.
Wexford Local Authorities Disability Strategy Implementation Plan 2006 -2015
The Disability Strategy Implementation Plan covering the period from 2006 to 2015, sets out a prioritised work programme based on the actions and recommendations of the Audits of all public buildings, parks, amenities and open spaces within the local authorities. Copies of the Audits are now available for viewing through the Library Service.
The Final Disability Strategy Implementation Plan following concultation was adopted by Council in July 2008 as a working document which would be reviewed and updated annually. Full details available on the Disability Strategy Implementaton Plan
Services Supporting our Disability Strategy
Access to Information
Resources have been made available to provide information in different format on request, i.e. Braille, Audio, Large Print and Sign Language interpretation.
Customer Service Action Plan
A revised Customer Services Action Plan had been put in place to inform and assist on Wexford County Council services. Details of the Customer Service Action Plan copies of which can be found at all main reception areas.
Complaints under Sections 25,26,27,28 and 29 of the Disability Act 2005 are in place. A Complaint Procedures and a review by the Ombudsman will be available in any case where the access required is not provided for.The procedure for complaints and complaints forms are available in the Customer Services Action Plan,
The County Secretary has been authorised to perform the functions conferred on an Inquiry Officer by section 39 of the Disability Act 2005.
Contact details ;Mr. Niall McDonald,County Secretary,Wexford County Council,Carricklawn,Wexford. Tele: 053 9196259,
Wexford County Councils Procurement Policy and Procedures have been updated and reviewed to include accessibility requirements and associated criteria for selection of successful tenders.
Wexford County Council carry out annual reviews on the progress in relation to the 3% employment target for people with disabilities. It has been noted that since and including the 2006 National Disability Report on Compliance with Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005 the number of employees with a disability in Wexford County Council was registered at more that the 3% requirement.
Policies and Procedures
A review of our policies, procedures and practices which took place early in 2008 put in place systems which support all necessary steps for improvement in the delivery of more accessible services.
Disability Awareness Training
Training for staff of all grades is ongoing.
To support effective consultation and liaison arrangements the following structures are in place;
- An Accessibility Steering Group
- Town Access Focus Groups in each electoral area. (4 in total)
- Content Coordinators within sections to ensure data input on the web takes account of accessibility issues
- An Access Officer with the role to coordinate monitor and review policies and procedures in relation to accessibility, the Disability Act 2005 and the Sectoral Plan
- Access Representatives available in sections whree frontline services are carried out
- An Inquiry Officer
These structures in place ensure that the awareness and commitment to accessibility/disability remains firmly embedded in the organisation and it services.
Further information is available from:
Caroline Horan,Access Officer,
Wexford County Council,Carricklawn,
Telephone (053) 9196500